One of the things I miss most about England is the countryside; farms and open expanses of greenery are not often seen in Hong Kong, at least where I live. Even though newly opened London resto The Shed is in Notting Hill, far from farms and countryside, it feels as if you have literally stepped into a country shed (albeit a rather glamorous one).
The Shed was set up by brothers Richard and Oliver Gladwin, as manager and chef respectively, whilst the third and youngest brother Gregory works at the family farm in Nutbourne, West Sussex, from which most of the restaurant’s delicious fresh produce comes.
From the outside, you would definitely be forgiven for mistaking the building with a garden shed, given its white wooden façade. The interior is decorated with pitch forks, tables are made from barrels or reclaimed wood, and there is even the bonnet of a tractor hanging above the bar, making you want to put on your very best ‘Farmer Joe’ accent when ordering a drink. Nevertheless, it also has a warm (rather too warm) cottagey feel that encourages you to stay there for hours and avoid the cold outdoors. I loved the added touches like the lumberjack shirts and leather tool belts worn by the waiters, which really complete the look
The Shed holds one of my favourite philosophies, that of ‘sharing is caring’. The menu, which changes daily according to what’s in season, can probably be described as ‘British tapas’, consisting of a variety of small plates designed to be shared, making sure evil Food Envy stays far, far away.
Our first ‘mouthful’, from the section of the menu with the same name, didn’t particularly impress us. Although the endive with pear and blue cheese sounded tasty, it was a little heavy on the pear and light on the cheese.
However, the chorizo patty was incredible, both in texture and taste. The rich, salty chorizo was topped with a humble dollop of egg mayo, bringing it back to its roots and creating a remarkable dish. We just wished we had ordered more than one mouthful each!
The Shed’s salami, made at Nutbourne Farm, was of the highest quality and paired perfectly with the homemade bread. The only thing I was slightly unsure of was the anchovy butter…
Why I have never had goat’s cheese paired with hazelnuts is beyond me; after tasting The Shed’s pan-fried goat’s cheese with hazelnuts, honey and thyme, I was in cheese heaven and swore to always eat goat’s cheese with hazelnuts from that moment on. We were advised that 2.5 main courses under ‘slow cooking’ or ‘fast cooking’ would suffice per person – so we ordered two of everything, of course.
The venison chipolatas with Shed mustard were cooked exactly to my liking: perfectly bronzed on the outside and deliciously juicy on the inside. The rich, gamey flavour was further enhanced by the homemade mustard so that this was actually the only dish I could have done without having ordered a second helping of…. although I happily ate a second chipolata anyway!
I loved the girolles, thyme crumpet and labneh cheese, particularly the latter, which added a wonderful creaminess to this hearty and comforting dish.
My absolute favourite, however, were without a doubt the lamb chips, served with a generous dollop of spiced harissa. These two cylinders of beautifully tender lamb shank, coated in crispy breadcrumbs were to die for; we were all relieved there was another plate to come when the first sadly ended.
Simply because a meal cannot end on lamb alone, we shared two desserts between us: Apple tart tatin and cranberry suet roly poly. The former was decadently sweet, with a perfectly crisp base, unusually yet tastily paired with poppyseed ice cream.
Having originally ordered a chocolate brownie, Richard insisted we must try his roly poly instead, something I would never normally order. Richard was absolutely right: the roly poly was utterly divine. The cake was amazingly light and fluffy, and the slightly tart cranberry compote on top transformed this traditional, yet often forgotten dessert into something I would want to order time and time again.
Prices at The Shed aren’t too steep at all; for lots of tasty food, a ‘daily loosener’ each (containing gin, white wine, rosehip and soda – sounds bizarre but tasted amazing) and a bottle of wine, we paid a mere £35 per head (around HKD400), and were also given a cute little packet of seeds to take away and try to make our own farm. With its excellent and friendly service, warm, inviting interiors and of course wholesome, delicious and real food, brought from the farm to your table, it is definitely worth hanging out in this Shed.
122 Palace Gardens Terrace
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 4024